The Mackinac Center’s Hidden Agenda

Funded by Betsy DeVos, they want to destroy unions and limit educators’ voice, rights, and pay.

Around the country, billionaire-funded political organizations are flooding union members with misleading information to try and take away their strong voice and contract.

Right here in Maryland, MSEA members have received communications from anti-union operatives from the Michigan-based Mackinac Center trying to convince them to drop out of our union. This politically extreme out-of-state group is spreading misinformation in an attempt to not only weaken our union, but our profession. They oppose the things we fight for every day, like a strong voice for educators; the pay, healthcare, and retirement security you deserve; workers’ rights; and adequate resources for our schools and students.

What Is the Mackinac Center?

Betsy DeVos’ family is a principal funder of the anti-union Mackinac Center. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

The Mackinac Center is funded by billionaires with extreme political goals, including Betsy DeVos’ family and the Koch brothers, who “are playing an influential role in the drive to strip public employee unions of their rights to bargain.” DeVos’ husband was even a member of the Center’s board of directors.

The Mackinac Center:

After years of attacking the pay, pensions, contracts, and professionalism of Michigan educators, now Mackinac is spending millions of dollars trying to deceive educators in Maryland and across the country into giving away their voice, contract, and union.

Don’t Be Fooled!

MSEA members are powerful advocates for what students need to be successful — qualified school staff, increased funding, and a strong voice for educators. The Mackinac Center and its billionaire backers oppose these things and are motivated by what’s best for their bottom lines and extreme political ideology, not what’s best for local educators or students.

They see MSEA and your local association as standing in the way of their profit and extreme political agenda. A big part of their strategy is to weaken your local association and MSEA to make it harder to get the funding, salaries, benefits, and working conditions you deserve. Simply put, the Mackinac Center and groups like them don’t have your best interests in mind.

A Strong Union Benefits You

Having a strong state and local association means that we can effectively negotiate salaries, benefits, and protections on the job. Average Maryland teacher salaries are $16,000 per year higher than states with weaker bargaining laws and low membership. For education support professionals, average salaries are $8,000 per year higher. That means that over the course of a 30-year career, Maryland teachers make nearly $500,000 more and Maryland support staff make nearly $250,000 more compared to states with weak unions!

Since 1865, MSEA and our locals have been representing Maryland’s public school employees and advocating for our students.

MSEA membership gives us the voice and influence we don’t have alone. Together we have won more funding for our students and fought for better salaries, benefits, and working conditions. Together we will keep fighting against Betsy DeVos’ agenda of for-profit charters and private school vouchers and fighting for great public schools for every child in every neighborhood.

We can’t let out-of-state extremist groups like the Mackinac Center attack our union. They’re desperate to take our voice, lower our pay, reduce our healthcare, and eliminate our retirement security. It’s already happened in other states they’ve targeted. We have to fight back so it doesn’t happen here.

If you or someone you know has been approached by one of these organizations, click here and let us know about it. An MSEA organizer will reach out to you quickly to talk more about it and make sure we can stop the misinformation campaign in its tracks.